STEM Fest 2017

Written by allysonfletch on . Posted in Community, Get Involved, STEM Initiative

Junior Achievement was excited to partner with Nelson Labs and the Women in STEM Education (WISE) Committee at Utah STEM Fest to bring hands-on activities to help spark students’ interest in science and science related careers. The WISE committee is made up of 17 women scientists and leaders at Nelson Laboratories who are committed to bringing the passion for STEM careers to youths of all ages.  STEM fest is a 2-day event for 5th-10th grade students held at the South Towne Expo Center, October 3-4, 2017.

The Nelson Labs booth at STEM Fest will have hands-on activities and fun giveaways for students. Activities include a bullseye micropipette game, a nitinol wire demonstration, a microorganism matching game, microscopes to view microorganisms, and a life-size skeleton equipped with real medical devices.

Junior Achievement has put new focus on our involvement in STEM events and programs as part of the Utah STEM and Career Initiative. Our goal is to expose students to a wide range of career possibilities in science, technology, engineering and math related fields and help provide them with the resources to begin focusing on and pursuing these career interests at an early age.


Synchrony High Impact Program

Written by allysonfletch on . Posted in Community, JA High School Programs

We were more than excited to kick-off year-two of the Synchrony High Impact program with the students from Kearns High School with a special event at JA City . . .

What is the High Impact Program?  In partnership with Synchrony Financial, the High Impact Program pairs 18 students from Kearns High School, through their sophomore to senior years, with a business mentor from Synchrony.  The objective of this program is to greatly increase the future economic security and work readiness skills of the students involved.  Over the span of the three years, students will participate in Junior Achievement programs including Finance Park, Personal Finance, Career Success, JA Company and Job Shadow, with the aim to provide these students the building blocks and resources necessary to become financially stable and secure, and to provide them with the skills needed to succeed in their future careers.  Students and mentors meet monthly during the school year and participate in several special events as they work together to complete the program requirements.

This week students kicked off year two at JA City with a little help from US Synthetic.  Students participated in a team building exercise, the US Synthetic Lego Challenge, designed to aid them in learning more about team work and problem solving.  This past summer the group also had the opportunity to meet at the Utah Olympic Oval where they not only worked on project requirements, but also spent some time watching speed skating teams from throughout the world!

We are grateful for the opportunity to provide an in-depth, one on one, and certainly life changing experience for this motivated and bright group of students.  Junior Achievement’s mission is to change lives and we couldn’t thank Synchrony Financial, and the dedicated mentors from Synchrony, more for sponsoring and supporting this very special High Impact Program.

“I want to go into business and finance and the program has given me extra insight into the requirements of the fields I am interested in.  The hardest thing for me is saving . . . this has given me a better understanding of the importance of saving more. My mom didn’t finish high school and didn’t attend college, so having Rich as my mentor, he’s accomplished those things, and it provides me with someone to go to ask questions and get the answers I’m looking for.” – Victoria, Kearns High student

“This is an opportunity to work with young people and ultimately see it through; see what becomes of these students post high school.  Having the opportunity to learn about the students’ backgrounds and meet their family has brought the volunteer experience home in a much richer way and makes it much more meaningful.” – Jeff Schreiber, Synchrony Financial

Moises:  “I was motivated to participate in the program because of the opportunity to learn new things and I felt comfortable with the mentors when I first met with them.  The most meaningful part of the program so far has been the Job Shadow.  I’m really not a public person but the Job Shadow event gave me an opportunity to talk to adults in a more personal way.” – Moises, Kearns High Student

 “Being more invested drives my engagement and I also believe that the longer term perspective drives the engagement of the students higher, as well. I want to invest my time and energy in something meaningful, impactful and sustainable and for me this program offers that opportunity and we are already seeing dividends.  We have already heard from parents saying they too have learned things from their children bringing these ideas home.” – Rich Bogle, Synchrony Financial





United Way Utah of County Day of Caring

Written by allysonfletch on . Posted in Community

This was our inaugural year participating in the United Way of Utah County Day of Caring and it was such an amazing experience partnering with new organizations, schools and volunteers and with United Way UC! Over 100 volunteers participated in 7 schools across Utah County (including Nebo, Alpine and Provo Districts) to present JA-in-a-Day lessons to students, many of who, were experiencing JA lessons for the first time!

We would like to extend a special thanks to the organizations who took the time to prepare, present and mentor all of these wonderful, eager students:

Ancestry | Banner Bank | BYU | Corporate Alliance | Culinary Crafts | Rock Canyon Bank | Provo Rotary Club | US Synthetic | Utah County Government


Not to mention these awesome schools!

Amelia Earhart | Bonneville | Barnett | Central | Cherry Hill | Larsen | Suncrest

United Way’s Day of Caring is a unique opportunity to make a big difference in the community when groups big and small come together to complete hands-on projects to benefit those in need.  JA-in-a-Day allows volunteers to present the 5-6 JA in-class lessons in a one-day format rather than being spread out over the course of several weeks. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this day of giving such a success!

#BeAForceForGood                      #HumansofUC                      #JAmatters




How STEM Girls Blossom: Geek Squad Summer Academy

Written by allysonfletch on . Posted in Community, Special Events, STEM Initiative

One Student’s Geek Squad Summer Success

Emily Tecuanhuehue started school this year at Escalante a much different child than when she got out last June. This school year she has more confidence and suddenly feels she could be one of the “smart kids,” a far cry from how she felt last year. What made the difference? According to Becca Hodgkinson, sixth grade teacher at Escalante Elementary in the Glendale area of Salt Lake City, “Emily spent two days in August at the Geek Squad Academy in JA City and she just blossomed. She was surprisingly quick to pick  up programming and other tech skills she’d never been introduced to before.  So the Geek Squad presenters asked her to help teach the other students in the class . . . her peers. And her self-confidence skyrocketed.” Emily was one of 40 Escalante students to receive a full scholarship to the two-day camp sponsored by Junior     Achievement of Utah. Her mother was very grateful for the change in Emily, but since she speaks no English, she could only express her gratitude through a big hug to Ms. Hodgkinson, who coordinated Geek Squad Academy registration and   transportation for the Escalante students.

Christy Tribe, CEO of Junior Achievement, said, “We know we can always fill our STEM camps with paying students whose   parents are aware of the opportunities for educational experiences for their children. But we feel a special responsibility to help level the playing field for the many students in Salt Lake’s at-risk and Title I schools who wouldn’t ordinarily have these kinds of opportunities. By offering full scholarships to these students (30 of them were girls!), we hope to spark an interest in technology and help build the confidence that they can succeed in STEM fields, thus getting them in the pipeline to fill future jobs in Utah’s burgeoning tech industry.”

We are grateful to Hill Air Force Base and the STEM Action Center for sponsoring our summer STEM camps. And thanks to the many sponsors who help us offer Junior Achievement programs to Utah’s deserving students.


JA City Summer Camps

Written by allysonfletch on . Posted in Career Exploration Center, Community, JA City, Special Events

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Minecraft Coding Camp presented by Tech Trep    

Date:            July 11-12

Time:           8 am to noon

Ages:            All students, ages 11 and up

What:           Learn the basics of coding with Java programming in the thrilling world of Minecraft

Where:         JA City, 444 W. 100 South, SLC, in Gateway Mall, 4th floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Cost:            $99, snacks provided

Intro to Web Development presented by Tech Trep    

Date:            July 11-12

Time:           1-6 pm

Ages:           All students, ages 11 and up

What:          Create a custom web portfolio while learning how to use HTML 5, CSS3, and Javascript

Where:        JA City, 444 W. 100 South, SLC, in Gateway Mall, 4th floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Cost:            $99, snacks provided

Morning of STEM for Girls presented by The STEM Shoppe  

Date:            July 15

Time:           10 am to 1 pm

Ages:           Girls, ages 8-12

What:          Stimulating hands-on, minds-on workshop for girls, teaching electronics using microcontrollers, conducting chemistry experiments, and programming robots.

Where:        JA City, 444 W. 100 South, SLC, in Gateway Mall, 4th floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Cost:            $50  (+ tax $53.43), snacks provided

JA BizTown presented by JA Staff  

Date:           August 10-11

Time:           9 am to 3 pm

Ages:           All students, ages 10-12

What:          JA BizTown gives students the opportunity to become adults for a day, and work as CEOs, CFOs, engineers, bank tellers, DJs, and more.

Where:        JA City, 444 W. 100 South, SLC, in Gateway Mall, 4th floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Cost:           $99 before July 1 for early bird pricing.  $125 after July 1 – lunch and snacks provided

Geek Squad Academy presented by Best Buy’s Geek Squad

Date:            August 16-17

Time:            9 am to 3:30 pm

Ages:            All students, ages 10-14

What:           Fun, interactive technology camp teaching classes such as Robotics, Programming, 3D Printing, Film Production, Digital Music, and more.

Where:        JA City, 444 W. 100 South, SLC, in Gateway Mall, 4th floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Cost:             $35, bring sack lunch

For more info on the JA City Summer Camps, contact us!

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